One of the items which is often on the minds of home buyers and sellers is the condition of the roof. Most of us know at least one person who has moved into a home only to discover during the next rainy season, that the roof is leaking. Alternatively, there might be insulation or building code issues with the roof. Depending on how the inspection was done, and which clauses were included in the sale documents, how you proceed might be different. However, no matter the circumstances, a leaky or broken down roof will be a huge, possibly expensive, headache.

If you are selling a home, and you know that you have a broken-down roof, you should always disclose this to potential buyers. Honesty is necessary. And failure to disclose could lead to problems. If you do not disclose the problem, and it is later shown that you knew about it, you could be financial responsible for restitution. Additionally, a home inspection might discover the leaky roof. Even if there is no rain at the moment, a good home inspector might notice things like water damage in areas where there is a leak. Therefore, failing to disclose the roof problems could be discovered quickly or slowly, but either way: it will be discovered.

Now, as to the question of whether or not you should fix the roof before selling, the answer is complicated. It depends on the condition of the rest of your property, and the opinions of potential buyers. If the entire property is run down and in need of extensive repairs, it might be easier to sell it as is. A buyer committed to fixing up the property will be willing to incur the cost of repairs themselves, for a discount. Alternatively, some buyers will be looking to tear down the existing structure and rebuild it. Putting a new roof on a building about to be demolished would be a waste of money.

However, there are situations where you might want to do the roof before putting the house on the market. If the leaks are major, you will almost certainly need the roof repaired as soon as possible in order to stop water damage. Additionally, being able to show that the house is in great shape can help to woo potential buyers, letting them feel secure that the house will not cause them to incur large financial burdens, or deal with other unpleasant projects.